Ronald Perelman, the potential chief donor for a facility that already bears his name -- the Perelman Quadrangle -- is considered to be the fourth most wealthy man in America, according to Forbes magazine. In addition, he has a long-standing relationship with the University, and is considered one of the most successful businessmen in the world. Although he pledged $10 million in seed money to the Revlon project in November 1988, he has yet to confirm whether he will support the proposed Perelman Quadrangle. Perelman is a 1964 graduate of the Wharton School. He also received an MBA from Wharton in 1966. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of the MacAndrews and Forbes Group, Inc. of New York City. Perelman is also chairman and chief executive officer of the Revlon Group, Inc., which is the world's second-largest cosmetics manufacturer, with estimated sales of $1.6 billion in 1993. And he is the chairman of Technicolor, Inc., Marvel Entertainment and a director of Four Star International and Compact Video. New York Magazine referred to Perelman as "the dominant deal maker of his time" in a 1993 article. Some of Perelman's savviest deals include the purchase of 80 percent of Marvel Entertainment for $330 million. The company is now worth $2.1 billion. Perelman also serves on the Wharton School Board of Overseers, the Trustees' Board of the Health System, and the Student Life and Development Committees of the University's Board of Trustees. In 1992, the French government conferred the Order of the Legion of Honor on Perelman, and in 1995, he was appointed a trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for Performing Arts by President Clinton. In addition to his original offer to fund the Revlon Center, Perelman is well known as a philanthropist. Last month, Perelman contributed $7.5 million to create the Revlon/ UCLA Women's Health Research Program. A native of Philadelphia, Perelman grew up on the Main Line and attended the all-boys Haverford School, which is known for rigorous academic standards. Perelman began his financial career at age 18, while still at the Wharton School. He and his father bought Esslinger Brewing Company and three years later liquidated it for $1.2 million. But Perelman undertook a critical career shift in 1978, when he decided to break away from his father's company in Philadelphia and move to New York City. In that year he bought an unprofitable jewelry store called Cohen-Hatfield with a $1.9 million bank loan and later sold it for $15 million in cash. Although Perelman's life often seems dominated by business, he is known to attend many parties and benefits, and is an observant Orthodox Jew who maintains a kosher home and strictly adheres to the Sabbath. In 1985, he established the Ronald O. Perelman Professorship in Finance at Wharton, and donated to the Sol Snider Entrepreneurial Center at Wharton and the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.Comments powered by Disqus
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